The New Craftsmen | Selfridges London | 2015

The New Craftsmen: Our House

AMD was delighted to create ‘Our House’ – a conceptual retail space for The New Craftsmen in collaboration with Sam Beazley. Designed as a temporary shopping experience at Selfridges, London, the brief was to create a ‘home’ by sensation only – and without defining any walls.
First, our research led us to look inward, asking ourselves questions like “what is it that makes a home?” and “how does being at home make us feel?” We then tackled some of the structural practicalities. In place of walls, we decided to use drying deckle racks and hung paper from the ceiling to create a sense of volume. Every ‘volume’ had purpose.

The Experience
The experience began when a visitor rang the bell. They would then hand in their shoes and mobile phone through a hatch in the wall. This initial area was dark and quiet, purposefully designed for de-connection with think black felt adorning the floors and hanging from ceiling.
In the next space, we installed an undulating mud floor which was hard on the foot, but smooth. We positioned a large haystack with steps up it to invite guests to rest and relax. Accompanying the tactile nature of the hay, we projected tree shadows on the ‘walls’ to evoke a lazy summers day.

“First, our research led us to look inward, asking ourselves questions like “what is it that makes a home?” and “how does being at home make us feel?” 

Andrew Martin – Founder, AMD
The following area was all about gathering. We put in a wooden floor covering, a clay oven and a very large table which dominated the space. Immersing visitors into the experience, food was prepared by a dedicated cook. Guests were invited to join in with the process. 
Moving along, the next space had a large loom with a maker at the helm. Visitors were invited to weave a small piece of the rug being made before moving on.
Next, visitors passed through an area for cleansing with a tap, bucket and ladle, as you might find in a Japanese temple. Guests were encouraged to ladle water over the four crafted objects, cleansing and clearing the mind.
Before visitors were re-united with their shoes and phone, there was an opportunity to write down thoughts of the experience, which were then pinned to an ever-growing installation of visitor comments. Finally, of course, guests were led to exit via the gift shop.
 

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